Ugandan troops begin Congo pull-out
Monday 16 March 2009
Some 3,000 Ugandan soldiers have begun pulling out of north-east Congo after a three-month offensive against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).
A Uganda-led attack that began in mid-December has so far failed to net LRA leader Joseph Kony or two of his deputies, wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The rebels have killed more than 900 people in reprisals.
"All of our soldiers are pulling out of the mission area ... our colleagues in Congo will continue," Lieutenant-General Ivan Koreta, deputy chief of defence forces, told reporters.
"We'll keep on sharing intelligence," he said late yesterday at an airport 25 miles from the capital.
Koreta said he expected Uganda's two brigades or some 3,000 troops to withdraw completely within eight days and that Ugandan soldiers would not enter the Democratic Republic of Congo to help Kinshasa's soldiers battle Kony.
There had initially been some confusion over the timetable of Uganda's pullout. Uganda said the mission had been extended indefinitely, but Congo denied that.
Critics say there is little to celebrate since the Ugandan offensive has failed to capture or kill Kony, who has waged a two-decade insurgency against the government.
Rebel fighters are known for slashing off lips and limbs in a war that has killed tens of thousands of people and destabilised a large area of central Africa.
Kampala says it sent troops into Congo only after Kony repeatedly refused to sign a peace deal worked out in neighbouring southern Sudan.
The operation is sensitive in Congo as Uganda invaded the nation in the 1990s and was accused of backing rebels and looting resources there.
But in a sign of improved relations, Congolese President Joseph Kabila and his Ugandan counterpart met this month on their border to discuss security and oil prospecting on Lake Albert, with estimated reserves of one billion barrels.
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
First-time buyers in London 'need to earn at least £77,000'
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...
£18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...